Guide to Portrush
Welcome to the home of Portrush online, our fun-loving seaside town that grew from a humble fishing village into the top-rated holiday destination for Northern Ireland locals and those worldwide. Portrush County Antrim has been the place to holiday since Victorian times. With our beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and fantastic food, we know you’ll love it.
The Causeway Coast Holiday Capital!
In Portrush, you can have a peaceful or action-packed holiday with many attractions set in the spectacular Causeway Coast scenery, with something to please the entire family all year round! Situated just a short drive along the coast road from world heritage site The Giants Causeway, overlooked by the famous Dunluce Castle and bounded by Royal Portrush Golf Club
Home to around 7000 people who call Portrush county Antrim home, with students from the University of Ulster Coleraine campus and visitors to the Port increasing numbers up to more than 50,000 in the summer months.
open Year Round
Portrush, or Port Rois in old Irish, is set on a mile-long peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean, with stunning blue flag beaches on either side and a historically significant rocky edge for its northern tip to explore. Three main roads run parallel to form the peninsula’s spine. Running in a one-way system, the first road is Kerr Street from the train station to the Harbour, with the pedestrian area, Currys (Old Barry’s) Amusements, the largest amusement park in Northern Ireland and Portrush Harbour. The next round is Main Street with its arcades, restaurants, cafes and shops heading from Ramore Head to East Strand. Mark Street runs along the centre and has many fantastic homes and B&Bs. All three roads lead to Ramore Head at the point of the Portrush peninsula.
Explore Places To See around Portrush
Ramore Head is an Area of Scientific Special Interest. The original Portrush Rocks (not the painted versions you’ll find dotted around the town) were first “discovered” in 1799 by Reverend William Richardson and written about by the Royal Society.
This started a scientific debate between the Neptunes and the Plutonists that lasted for several decades. The Plutonists believed that all rocks came from volcanic magma, whereas the Neptunists thought the stones were formed from seawater.
The trail around Ramore Head is an excellent place to take in the stunning clifftop views to Donegal and Inishtrahull Lighthouse, North to the Scottish Islands of Islay and east to Rathlin Island and the Giants Causeway. Ramore Head is also a great place to see various birdlife, including many breeding populations of kittiwake, black guillemot and eider.
Between Easter and mid-October, the recreational facilities are open for tennis, bowls and a children’s Adventure Park. Ramore Head provides excellent enjoyment for the family, take a picnic and relax on the grass.
Portrush Harbour, just a short walk down from Ramore Head, was built-in 1827; however, it dates as far back as 1468 and was used up until the second world war, mostly for passenger steamers to and from Scotland. Now used primarily for fishing, leisure and home to the RNLI’s two lifeboats, the William Burr and The David Roulston. The Harbour is also home to many bars, cafes, and restaurants like The Famous Harbour Bar. You can also take a fishing and food tour from here to watch the surfers, swimmers and fishing boats go by on one of the benches.
A walk down Main Street, you’ll pass historic iconic buildings such as the ‘The White House, one of the world’s first mail-order stores with its first catalogue going out in the 1890s, The Belfast Bank Building, the Arcadia and the Londonderry Arms. There are lots to do, from traditional bingo, slots, and penny fall to excellent cafes and restaurants. The main street also links the Harbour and two of the three spectacular Portrush Beaches, West Strand & East Strand, leading onto White rocks beach and Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Blue Flag Beaches of Portrush
Portrush county Antrim is the only town in the UK with three blue flag beaches. Only eight in Northern Ireland have the award, the West Strand (Mill strand) and East Strand in town and White rocks on the coast towards Bushmills and Dunluce Castle. Each beach brings its own unique experience.
West Strand Beach Portrush
West Strand starts in town at the Harbour and stretches to ‘under the railway bridge towards Portstewart. All along the beach, a 1 km walking and cycle path offers stunning views of the town and Donegal. On both ends of the Strand there are large car parks and toilets.
This is a perfect beach for all water-related activities and walks for yourself and your dog!
The Strand is on the other side of the Portrush peninsula (Ramore Head). Behind the Arcadia This 2 miles long stretch of golden sands is perfect for swimming, walking (including dogs) and admiring the sweeping views. This golden sand stretch is also home to several international events such as the Portrush Airshow and has hosted large concerts.
The world-famous Royal Portrush Golf Club is next to the beach and ancient dunes. The Course was home to 2019 and soon to be the 2025 Open Championship, the most extensive Open by attendances to be held outside of St Andrews.
Whiterocks Beach Portrush
Whiterocks Beach provides a different vibe from the two ‘in town’ Strands. It is a continuation of the East Strand and is best known for its white limestone chalk cliffs between 142 and 65 million years old and Dunluce Castle views. The beach is accessed by walking, cycling or driving down the winding road to the shoreline car parks. This is a famous beach for surfing. Views from the cliff tops, beach and the Ocean are memorable.
Entertainment in Portrush
Currys (Barry’s) Amusements is probably Portrush’s most famous attraction, one of Ireland’s largest amusement parks. Barry is ideally situated between Portrush Railway Station, The Harbour and overlooking Mill Strand. Barry’s has been entertaining families since 1925 and is still thriving, providing hours of entertainment for all the family with the thrills of a ghost train, helter-skelter, cyclone, hobby horses, dodgems and roller coasters.
The Causeway International: Northern Ireland International Airshow’ is a two-day flagship air event held annually in September in the seaside town of Portrush The fantastic air displays on each day by the likes of the Red Arrows, Lancaster Bombers, and even aerial fireworks display plenty of entertainment on the ground in Portrush County Antrim.
North West 200
Each May, the town hosts part of the famous Motorbike Road Racing event, The Nw 200, established in 1929, held on a 9 mi (14 km) street circuit known as the Triangle between the towns Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush. The Course is one of the fastest globally, with average speeds of 120 mph (190 km/h) and top speeds over 210 mph (340 km/h). The NW 200 is the largest annual sporting event in Northern Ireland, with the race weekend attracting over 100 riders and 150,000 visitors worldwide.
This lively spot is the hub of local nightlife in the area. Kelly’s is ‘Northern Ireland’s Premier Night club’ based just outside Portrush town on the coastal road across from Royal Portrush Golf Club. It has a lot to offer with numerous nightclubs, including ‘Lush’ Nightclub, which hosts world-famous DJs. There is also the Deerstalker Hotel, Bar and Grill.
The town is filled in the summer and has an upbeat holiday vibe as families flock there. Portrush County Antrim is quieter in the winter, but you’ll still find the holiday atmosphere even in the colder weather.
Royal Portrush Golf Club
Portrush County is most definitely Irish the home of golf, with Royal Portrush golf course taking centre stage as the 2019 Open Championship home and the 2012 Irish Open. The world-famous Dunluce Links Royal Portrush Championship Golf Course is prestigiously placed right behind the East Strand beach with ancient sand dunes overlooked by Dunluce Castle ruins from where it takes its name. However, within a 20-minute drive, nearly a dozen more courses, including championship courses at Portstewart, Ballycastle and Castlerock, are well worth a round.
Attractions Near Portrush
The Giants Causeway
Just a few miles from Portrush coast lies the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only world heritage site. This fascinating place is home to over 40000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns that rise from the sea. An excellent visitor centre at the Causeway is operated by the National Trust. Here you can find out about and experience flora and fauna, the geology, the history and even the myths surrounding the Causeway. You can see Portrush from the end on a clear day if you are lucky.
Dunluce Castle is overlooking Portrush from the east, just along the Coast. Perch on a rocky outcrop, Dunluce castle has starred in many blockbusters but most recently in the HBO Series Game Of Thrones. The castle has spectacular views over Portrush, the Causeway Coast and the Atlantic Ocean.
Mussenden Temple & Downhill
Heading West from Portrush along the North Coast road is Mussenden Temple. The Temple is located in the stunning surroundings of Downhill Demesne on the North Coast of Ireland, not far from Castlerock in Co. Londonderry and only 15 minutes drive from Portrush. The Temple sits precariously on the edge of towering 120ft cliffs overlooking Loch Foyle and the Atlantic Sea towards Donegal and the Atlantic Ocean.